Zach Muller wrote:Hey Ronaldo, it's looks and sounds pretty good to me. As for the absence of Johnson grass now, could it be that you will see it coming back next year, maybe now is not its time for starting growth?
I had a similar experience in my forest garden, a lot of plants growing that I did not plant. Since they bring bugs and flowers I leave them, the diversity is great. I have mulched the immediate area around my trees more heavily and I make sure those areas don't fill up with too many plants just to give them space while they are establishing. Other than that I let the free plants grow in their seasonal cycle.
Nature takes care of planting flowers that attract bees and wasps early in the season when peaches and pears are blooming. Right now it is the beginning of spring for me and my garden is full of dead nettle, chickweed, and a bunch of other stuff that I did not plant. It's more life support for what I planted.
It sounds like if nature is giving you a nitrogen fixer all over, then it is helping you out, if you want to use and area then you can just chop and drop that plant, supplying both nitrogen and mulch material.
Sheldon Nicholson wrote:Hi Ronaldo,
It sounds like you know what you are doing and you are getting good results. It is very encouraging to hear of someone in Peru practicing permaculture! In my experience living in the tropics almost everyone just burns things instead of letting them grow like you are, good job!
I do have some suggestions but you can decide for yourself if they are a good idea:
In the pictures it looks like the part of the land that is mostly bare would be an ideal place for some swales (unless it is very steep land?). You can just dig lots of small ones by hand and make sure that the water has a good place to overflow into the swale below it because with your heavy rains the swales WILL overflow and so you want to make sure that the water can escape without just collapsing the entire swale.
Another thing you can do on that bare area that would work almost as good as swales but would be safer and easier is to build low rock walls on contour. I would probably build them about 1 foot tall and 2-3 feet wide. These will trap debris and over time will have the same effect as swales: more water will go into your soils to feed your plants instead of flowing downhill off your property!
Another alternative is to lay logs down along the contour line. These will have a similar effect to the swales or rock walls. However you will need to make sure the logs wont roll down the hill in a heavy rainfall!
About the plants around your trees: I would NOT recommend killing them unless they are either shading the tree's leaves or if it is a vine that is wrapping around the tree at all. Having plants growing right around your tree will provide many benefits for the tree in the long run: more fertility in the soil, less evaporation of water near the tree, more dew irrigation near the tree, more habitat for predators who will protect your trees from pests, and more... It would probably be okay to "kill" (cut down) the plants that are within 1 foot of the trunk of your tree, but there is no need to do more than that in my experience.